Family Leeding the way in life saving

Posted: 10am 12 Apr 2021

Queensland Youth Week runs until April 18. It’s a chance to celebrate young people in our community making a difference and to shine a light on what we can do to support those in need.

In recent months, the narrative around young people has been pretty negative, but there’s plenty happening in our community to change that and provide help to youth who need it.

Meet the Leeds

Surf Life Saving is a family affair for the Leeds, with mum Karla and dad Quinton following daughters Gigi and Izzy into the sport.

Members of the Redcliffe Surf Life Saving Club for the past six years, Izzy and Gigi were both honoured with top gongs in their respective age groups this season.

Gigi won the Harry Graham Nipper of the Year Award, while Izzy was named the inaugural female cadet champion, with Ben Szulc named male cadet champion.

Gigi says she is happy to be recognised for her work with the club, spending most Sunday mornings helping set up the beach for Nippers training.

“I love the beach – it’s just fun hanging out with my friends,” she says.

“(Nippers) is really good for developing social skills and fitness.”

Izzy is delighted to have been named the inaugural female cadet champion and when she’s not on patrol, she’s helping out with the Stingrays, a Nippers program for children with special needs.

“It’s great for them to be able to come down to the beach and muck around in the water,” she says.

Lifesaving a natural choice

Karla, who was a Nipper in Tasmania as a child and is the club’s Deputy Uniform Officer, says since the family moved to Queensland for the weather, it was a natural extension to join the Redcliffe club.

“You can just get caught up life, so this forces you to enjoy at least half a day at the beach every week,” she laughs.

“It’s good for the family unit to be doing something together.”

A sport for the whole family

Quinton, a member of the Redcliffe Water Safety Team and patrol member, says with the club relying on volunteers, he is more than happy to be involved.

“When these two started they didn’t have a lot of help – there were times when the kids couldn’t go into the water because they didn’t have enough help,” he says.

“When Nippers sign up, parents have to join the club too, you’re not forced to do anything, but the club relies on people volunteering their time.

“One of the best things about Nippers for parents is you can actually do the sport with your kids.

“With Nippers you can get on the beach with them, you can go out in the water with them and you can end up on the same patrol together.”


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